I have a dream...
In 1963 Martin Luther King spoke those words to an audience of 250,000 civil rights supporters in Washington. He spoke of an end to racism and equality of opportunity for all. It marked a turning point in American politics.
On a far more modest scale, the dream of our community owned shop and café was the result of a conversation between social entrepreneur Robert Ashton and Dan Dalton, a Psychiatrist at the Broadland Clinic. Service users were travelling to Norwich to undertake work experience, which with poor public transport, was far from easy.
Robert saw new homes being built nearby and suggested that a community owned shop could be both very convenient for those living at Little Plumstead and provide local work experience, avoiding a commute into Norwich.
The project has inevitably prompted some difficult conversations. The shop will be next door to a school and safeguarding concerns needed to be addressed. Those conversations have led to greater understanding between the Clinic and community. This will ensure that the shop, café and walled gardens can safely be enjoyed by everyone.
Next year could see a community shop and café open for business within the walled garden. It could also see a community that is tolerant and inclusive and an example to others.